Road Runners Club of America Launches FREE Sexual Abuse Awareness and Reporting Training for the Running Community

February 5th, 2019

Arlington, VA – On February 14th, 2018, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 was enacted by Congress and became federal law. It is more commonly referred to as the SafeSport Act. In January 2019, Phil Stewart published an article in the Road Race Management E-Newsletter, SafeSport and Running Events.  In the article, Stewart does an excellent job of distilling USA Track & Field’s SafeSport Directives for running events and organizations. The article outlined three categories of events and requirements for each. The third category, seems to speak to a majority of running events in the U.S. that do not obtain a sanction from USATF.

While much of the SafeSport Act speaks to the actions of NGBs, it does outline that non-NGBs, and adults working in youth sports (like RRCA and its members), have certain requirements they must implement and follow to be in compliance with the Safe Sport Act. These include:

  • Any adult (mandated reporter) who is authorized to interact with youth athletes are required to report suspicions of abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agencies within 24-hours.
  • All adults working with youth are required to go through abuse prevention training of some sort that is pro-active rather than re-active.
  • The abuse prevention training must include educational material about the process of sexual grooming, how to recognize it, and how to prevent it.
  • Organizations working with youth should have a criminal background check policy in place for volunteers that have direct contact with youth.

To assist the running community, the RRCA has created several sample policies that organizations should adopt to ensure SafeSport Act compliance. These include establishing at Mandatory Reporter Policy and a No One-on-One Contact Policy for Anyone Working with Youth. These policies samples can be found at: https://www.rrca.org/education/understanding-the-safe-sport-act

It is important to understand that Safe Sport does not mandate what training must be provided. The Act does not dictate that all adults working with youth must pay the SafeSport training fee and get trained if they are not a USATF member. The Act does outline that all adults working with youth should be trained to understand sexual abuse awareness, and the training should focus on being pro-active versus re-active. The training must also focus on understanding the process of sexual grooming and how to prevent it.

The RRCA has developed a FREE online training resource designed to provide organizations and their volunteers with a training resource to meet the education requirements outlined in the Safe Sport Act. We thank the American Bar AssociationStop It Now, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for their expert information included, with permission, in the training program.  Anyone wanting to complete this training may logon to the program’s guest book and launch the training module. Upon completion, a certificate of completion will be generated for people to save in their personal files and to provide to organizations they volunteer with.

About the RRCA:

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is the oldest and largest national association of running organizations and runners dedicated to growing the sport since 1958. The RRCA champions the development of community-based running clubs and events that serve runners of all ages and abilities in pursuit of health and competition. The RRCA’s vision is to see an organized running club established in every community in the U.S. To learn more, visit: www.RRCA.org

Road Runners Club of America

Road Runners Club of America Launches FREE Sexual Abuse Awareness and Reporting Training for the Running Community

Contact Info

Andy Smith
7035253890
programs@rrca.org
www.rrca.org

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